Yesterday money reared its ugly head again, and made life and circumstance tricky and delicate. My dad, in his usual bull-in-china-shop attitude toward the intricacies of my relationship with Mark offered to pay for the whole wedding, which made Mark go and sulk. Mum, when I told her, groaned so audibly that it could be heard all the way from Warwickshire.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m an upper middle class brat whose parents make quite a lot of money. They have saved for me, and for my sister when she was alive, as long as I can remember – and my accounts are therefore fairly bulging in comparison to other people my age. No, it doesn’t mean that I have millions – but I certainly have enough to make us two live comfortably for years. And I have that in a currency that is constantly appreciating in relation to the British Pound so even the inflation and the price rises don’t affect us as much as it does the rest of the country.
To someone who takes pride in not being beholden to anyone, and who adheres to the old working class ethic of self-sufficiency and independence, this pile of gold is a controversy that we’ve managed to sweep under the rug. But sometimes, mostly dad, decide to pull the rug away and expose the inequality at the root of Mark’s and my relationship. It was the worst when dad offered to pay for our car, a used Toyota Yaris. At that time, Mark was not so used to the balancing act that both of us walk, and so the conflict was quite long and ongoing.
The balance works because we live in Mark’s parents house, and he gets a little something each month from the tenant downstairs, and so we can pretend that there is an income equality between us. And we can look toward a future where Mark will make quite a lot more money than I will. But who ever said that logic and reason always prevailed? Sometimes the perceptions and the biases are what drives people rather than logic.
And so the drama unfolds again, not as bad as with the car, but Mark sits sulking down in the lounge with the telly, and I try not to bother him as he works his way back to the balance, as he usually does. And I curse my dad for being so damned insensitive and careless in his attempts to intrude on our way of doing things. Didn’t the last time teach him that it’s not a good idea to come waving his wallet, regardless of how good his intentions are? I can’t be bought into affection, and Mark will rebel against the very notion. So why does he keep doing it?
I don’t understand him. I truly don’t.